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Maker: John Holland.

But for two features, there would be little to distinguish the Fount-Fillers from legions of other black hard rubber pens from the early days of the 20th century.  The more obvious of these is the filler which the name of the model draws attention to, which is the notable “hatchet” filler.

The other feature is, in truth, rather obscure, and is one shared by other Holland models.  Rather than relying on an inner cap, the nearly cylindrical section merely bound against the inner walls of the cap to arrest its movement.  I imagine this was done to save a step and some material in manufacturing, but I also imagine it puts more outward stress on the cap than would be the case in the usual set-up.  As far as how well is seals the pen, I really can’t answer, as my example has a vent hole drilled at exactly the level of the point to ensure its prompt drying out.  This is a feature I’ve seen in other pens of this era, and it does make one wonder why they were bothering with inner caps at all.

As with many other pens of the time (Waterman being the quickest example), there were many variations on the pattern, all of which had a number.  In the case of this pen, it seems that the numbers reflected only the size of the point, and thus the size of the pen.

Production Run: c. 1910 – c. 1920; I should like to be more precise in this, because there is a 1915 patent date included in the impression, but a source which I generally respect speaks of them appearing as early as 1908.  I don’t see them in a 1909 nor a 1920 catalogue.

Cost When New: Basing a guess on the self-fillers in the ’09 book and non-top end models in the ’20, probably about $3.50 to $7.50, depending on the size (for modern value, try this calculator).

Size: 14.4 cm long capped, 17.9 cm posted, 13.6 cm uncapped, considering the No.2; size will vary with the scale of the point.

Point: 14K gold.

Body: Hard rubber.

Filler: Hatchet , capacity approx. 0.9 ml in the No. 2.

John Holland Fount-Filler No. 2; a surprisingly long pen when posted

The hatchet filler caught between “stowed” and “action stations”. Note also the two pins running through the body; one for the hatchet to pivot on, the other perpendicular to it, a guide to keep the bar in line with the rest of the mechanism.



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